Greetings readers, welcome to Fantasy Hockey, What’s the Point Man? Honestly, what is the point man? The point man is the player who plays the point on the powerplay, near the blueline. They in many ways run the power play by acting as an outlet for forwards on the half walls, by setting up for seeing eye shots, and by being the last line of defense should the penalty kill counter. The point man could also be considered the player with the most goals and assists. Soldiers, politicians, and even entrepreneurs could play the part of a point man as well. But, What is the Point Man? The point is to dominate your foes at fantasy hockey to win cash and pain inflicting bragging rights. Here is where you can find the scoop to help you get to the top.
As part of Hockeyland Canada’s season preview, each division will be examined one team at a time to identify players to pick and players to avoid. There are six categories of players covered and it’ll begin with the Metropolitan Division. Tons of talent and intriguing players to kick things off right, lets get going with the Washington Capitals.
The Elite Suite – Alexander the Great Eight led all National Hockey League skaters last season with 51 goals, good enough to earn him his 4th Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. An uncharacteristically low -35 and just 28 assists brings the boo birds outta the wood work, but make no mistake, Ovy knows how to splash onto the scoresheet nightly. His partner in crime, Nicklas Backstrom is able to shoulder the defensive load of playing with Alexander, and still manages to put up PPG numbers. With new defensive minded coach Barry Trotz taking over, lets hope he doesn’t stifle this dynamic duo’s creativity.
Dependable Joe – A man who has grinded his way to the NHL, Joel Ward had a career year with 24 goals and 49 points last season. Another 20 goal campaign is entirely possible, and remember he has familiarity with the new coach from his Nashville Predator days. Another part of the ground and pound strategy for the Caps is Troy Brouwer who also eclipsed the 20 goal plateau for Washington. With a spot in the top 9 assured, expect Brouwer to be a source of goals, hits, and PIMs this 2014-15 fantasy season.
Risky Plays – Defensive additions in Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik may help the on ice product in the short term, but with more mesh rippling mouths to feed, it could create decreased returns. Any one of John Carlson, Mike Green, or Matt Niskanen could fill the right shot on the powerplay and serve up spikes to Ovy the Great, but with a time-share likely, fantasy owners will have a hard time figuring out which one it’ll be. Playing most of the year next to Ovechkin and Backstrom afforded Johansson a decent 44 points but more is expected if by osmosis alone. You’ll likely see Kuznetsov-Backstrom-Ovechkin combinations that will eat into Johansson’s role even further and may once again leave you wanting more.
Sleeper Seeker – Having struggled with injury the past couple seasons, people will forget that Brooks Laich is an effective center who can score close to 50 points at a discount for deep leaguers. Braden Holtby lost the Caps crease at times last year, but with a vote of confidence from the new coach and a renewed emphasis on defense, Holtby will be given every chance to carve out a career year.
Rookies Ready to Break the Ice – Having dazzled at the World Junior Championships on multiple occasions, Evgeny Kuznetsov made the move from the KHL to the NHL last season without a hitch. That experience will serve to be invaluable in acclimating Evgeny to the North American game, and expect to see this offensive wizard hit the ground running as a top contender for the Calder trophy.
Keep Eyes Peeled – When a guy named Connor McDavid plays on your team, you may tend to go a bit unnoticed but don’t tell that to Andre Burakovsky as he is oozing with offensive panache. There is a good chance Burakovsky heads back for another season in the OHL with the Erie Otters, but if he manages to crack the roster then watch out.
For Hockeyland Canada,